Why I'm careful about what I read


I've become very selective about what I read, both in terms of enjoyment and in more practical terms of inspiration. I was thinking that the other day as I was looking at a variety of blog posts from other people on the web. To be honest, I don't read many of the other blogs of other magicians, and even the few I do read, I read infrequently, because I'm selective about what I'm putting into my head. At a certain point, I think that if you oversaturate yourself with the thoughts and ideas of other people you cut yourself off from a very vital part of yourself, which is your own imagination and creativity.  Your imagination and creativity need some access to other material as a way of inspiring them, but too much ends up dulling them. That's true not just of books, but any form of media. At a certain point too much exposure dulls you because it fits you with preconceived ideas of how something ought to be done, as handed down by various "authorities."

One of the criticisms I received about Pop Culture Magick was that the examples I drew on didn't include any of Grant Morrison's works or Neal Gaiman's works. I thought it was a rather odd criticism, until I realized that the critics were applying their expectations of pop culture onto me. What they didn't realize is that I had never read any of Morrison's or Gaiman's work and I had no interest in reading their works. Yes, those works are popular to a good number of occultists, but for me they weren't of any interest. I've since read a bit of both authors' works and even now I don't find it that interesting for me to explore further because it's not where I draw my inspiration from. I recognize that other people are inspired by those authors, but what inspires me is different and that's fine by me.

Your inspiration is something which has to be cultivated carefully. A few years back I killed my inspiration, in part due to life situations, but also because I was reading far too much information and not giving myself time to process it or really appreciate its relevance. Eventually I did get that time and afterwards my inspiration came back, but it was because I took a break from reading the books I was reading. Even now I regularly take breaks from whatever I'm reading so that I can process what's already been read and consider its relevance in my life, particularly by applying it.

Feed your mind carefully with what really interests you, but don't let it get distracted by the minutiae of other people's ideas or approaches to that interest. They have their inspiration, and it's worthy of respect, but respect your own as well and choose carefully what you'll read. You want to draw on what's meaningful to you, but you also want to give yourself time to savor it and apply it. By giving yourself that gift you will better appreciate what you do read and you'll be more selective because whatever you draw on has to be something that is relevant to those interests. By extension, this same caveat also applies to what you do, specifically in terms of other people approaching you about participating in their projects. I get a fair amount of people who want me to weigh in on their ideas or participate in their projects and I tend to not get involved because I'm working on my own projects and have enough to do their, but also because I want to cultivate my own creativity and inspiration by focusing on what my own interests and projects are.

The value of irrational thinking

ducktales I've been playing the re-mastered version of Ducktales lately. It's a game which brings back fond memories of my childhood. On one of the levels, the miners are afraid of sounds coming from the mine, so they leave. Scrooge insists that there is a rational explanation and eventually gets to the bottom of the mine, where he discovers a race of underground dwellers who've been causing the noise. Afterwards he tells his nephews how there was a rational explanation for everything, at which point one of them dryly observes that a race of people in the Earth who don't like diamonds is a perfectly explanation. I thought it was an interesting point to make, especially as I'm currently reading Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, which explores just how prevalent irrational behavior is.

Rational thinking is a bit overblown in my opinion. We use rational thinking to explain why we've chosen to undertake a particular action or made a decision, and conveniently ignore the emotional, irrational factors that play a role in our decision making process. And while there might be a rational explanation for everything, it doesn't necessarily mean that explanation is the best explanation out there. There's a presumption that being irrational is bad or that it makes you less in control of a given situation, but I'd argue that what irrationality can provide are alternative explanations that may not overtly make sense, but nonetheless provide a different way to view a given situation and can actually help you find solutions to your problems. It may not be a rational solution, but why stick with rationality?

In one sense, I think the reason rationality is so prized is because it's perceived as a negation of everything that doesn't conform to a neat little package of the universe. Rational thinking has an explanation for everything, or promises that it will, and those explanations will be packaged in a nice safe way that makes sense to everyone. Irrationality isn't necessarily safe. It embraces the unknown and explores the possibilities that the answers may not be known or may not fit conventional thinking. Irrational thinking embraces the validity of believing in spirits as being a reasonable (if not rational) explanation.

I'm not much for rational thinking because I've never found it to be as useful as some people portray it. A lot of my work has come from being deliberately irrational and using the irrational perspectives to gain insight into what I'm working on. I think rational thinking has its time and place, but so does irrational thinking! Embrace irrationality for the possibility of unusual perspectives and non-rational solutions. And explore irrational thinking so that you can understand how you already engage in it, and thus can makes changes in that thinking, if you so desire.

Why Magical Efficacy doesn't happen fast (most of the time)

Fast The other day, Jason made a post about why magic isn't a race of doing a given magical activity as fast as you can. He notes that people get fixated on doing a given magical ritual as fast as possible, and makes the point that the efficacy of a working can be lost when you try to do something as fast as possible. I agree with him, and I also agree that there is a fixation on doing magical work as fast as possible. I think some of that is a result of living in a world where the technology is speeding up the pace of life. Consequently people have an expectation that everything else will be faster as well. I also think that sometimes people want spirituality to be something that is condensed and experienced in as short a time as possible.

My own magical work is an activity I take a lot of time on. I have a post I'm planning to write n some of my latest space/time magical experiments, but I haven't written it yet, because I'm taking my time on the experiment and fine tuning the work. I don't want to just do something and then share it as quickly as possible. I want to put the time and effort into the magical working in order to effectively understand and implement it. The problem with doing a magical activity as fast as you can is that it leaves you no time to really consider or integrate what you are doing into your magical work. Instead it just becomes an activity you do for the sake of getting done with it as soon as possible.

My own magical work is rarely done as fast as possible. When I do my daily work, I don't have a specific time frame in mind for when it'll be done. I do it and it lasts for as long as I need to do it. For other magical work I take a methodical approach to the work, which allows for a given activity to occur over longer periods of time. My elemental balancing work, which typically lasts a year is an example of such a work. I take a year to work with a given element in order to really allow it to imprint meaningfully on my life. Doing a quick ritual to an element wouldn't mean much, because I really wouldn't get to know that element.

My other magical work is similar. I take as much time as needed, because it's not about getting it done as quickly as possible. It's about experiencing the magic and the experiences it provides and allowing yourself to fully feel it and know it. That kind of experience doesn't happen if you rush your magical work. So take your time and don't make it a race. Make it an experience that genuinely changes your life.

Book Review: Working with the Dreaming Body by Arnold Mindell

In this book, the author explores the concept of the dreaming body in conjunction with how a person expresses his/her psychological dysfunctions through everyday behavior, as well as the dreaming body. What I like about this book is that the author builds on previous work and shows how various physical symptoms can be related to psychological disturbances as well as how to use those symptoms to uncover and work with those disturbances. He also explains how a personal can use the symptoms that s/he experiences to come to an understanding and make with him/herself. The case studies that he provides also demonstrate the techniques he uses and provide further insight into working with the body holistically. I highly recommend this book if you want to learn how to work more with your body and your mind as a unified unit.


The Process of Magic Class starts this Wednesday

  blacksigil_400px-72dpiRound 6 of the Process of Magic class starts this Wednesday. I apply a process methodology to magic in order to understand how magic works and what can be done to make it work better. This class explores how the process approach to magic works and shows you how to apply it to your own magical practice. Previous students who have taken the class have found that it has benefited their approach to magical work, because it teaches how to analyze what you are doing and break it down into a process that can be examined and changed as needed. If you've ever wanted to improve your magical practice or just develop a better understanding of how magic works, contact me to learn more about the class. This is a correspondence course, with 24 lessons, one sent each week. A bi-monthly teleconference is also included, as is a free e-book. The cost of the class is $100.


Elemental Balancing Ritual Movement Month 8

Eros 5-24-13 There's been this big uproar about pop culture magic going through the blogosphere. The polytheists, reconstructionists, and spirit workers feel threatened by the idea of pop culture magic and so the usual criticisms and attempts to devalue pop culture magic have begun. Fortunately there are a lot of people actually exploring and writing about pop culture magic now. I've actually come late into this particular debate, but it makes me happy to see that other people are writing about and exploring pop culture as a a means of working with magic. And I kind of find it ironic that my name really hasn't come up, because even a few years ago all that people seemed to know of me was related to pop culture magic. I'm glad other people have it made their own...I just wish the detractors would get over it instead of trying to prove why their beliefs are more valid than mine or someone else's. Compensation much?

5-30-13 The uproar has died down which is good since it wasn't very constructive. I see those kinds of arguments as being fairly futile. Neither side wants to budge, and it becomes an exercise in rhetoric as opposed to anything really meaningful. Yesterday my latest book arrived. There is, in my opinion, a very magical moment when you open a book you've written for the first time. There it is, manifest into material form, a concrete reality of the ideas you've written. Feels good to have the book written and it feels even better to see the final result.

I also got my latest tattoo today. And again there's an experience that is so unique. You are allowing someone to paint on your skin, on the canvas of your body and embody it with whatever is painted. In my case a dragon to honor the work I've done with Dragon. Not too sure how many more tats I'll get. I have a few ideas of what I might get, but at a certain point I'll be ready to leave it at that. Anything I do get is done either to mark a life change or a significant magical working with an entity and as such anything I get has to be significant enough to warrant the ink, the experience, and the recognition that the canvas has gotten smaller.

6-3-13 I presented at the first Northwest Conference of Alchemy over the weekend. I also learned quite a lot about the topic and it makes me want to get involved in practical alchemy even more than before. I also had an interesting realization. I wrote Pop Culture Magick nine years ago, and I've noticed that now it's become fairly prevalent in some practices. I've also noticed more and more interest in space/time magic, which tells me that I'm about a decade ahead of what is really interesting to people. A good place to be, because I can actually see what interests people in this lifetime and still continue pushing to the edges.

6-6-13 Since I got the dragon tattoo I've noticed more energy in my life and businesses. There's a direction, with activities happening and I feel really good about the direction of movement. I've also come up with a new experiment, which involves linking several daily workings I do together. I won't share more about it now, because it'll likely become the core of a new system, but its so exciting to feel creative to have projects to work on and to otherwise be engaged. When I was at the alchemy conference people commented on the number of books I've written and how prolific I am (a dozen books in ten years is pretty good), and when I told them that I'd actually had a few years where not much writing happened they were surprised. I'm grateful to have the writing back and to be sharing it with the people who like my work.

6-9-13 Over on Pagan Square several more of the polytheists have posted articles which have taken a somewhat militant approach to the whole pop culture magic issue. I've debated whether I should respond any further and was even in the process of writing a comment to one post, when I stopped myself and asked: "What am I really trying to get from this interaction?" The answer I got was control and I realized then that posting the comment wouldn't provide that sense of control or validation or anything else useful. I realized there was no control to be had in this situation and so I just stopped writing the comment and surrendered the needs to feel control and validation. I asked myself: "Could these people really stop me from practicing what I practice?" And the answer is no. They can state their own perspectives, but they can't really stop me or others from practicing what we practice. And the best thing we can do is to continue to practice what we practice and share it so that people who are receptive can choose to learn and experiment. Knowing how to move, when to move, where to move all of that is essential to any situation where some kind of movement is necessary. And sometimes the best move to make is to recognize what your motive is for posting something and then decide is this really worth the effort I'm making or could I put that effort somewhere else to better effect? I know I can put my efforts to better effect elsewhere.

6-14-13 I think that one of the frustrations I feel with working with movement, especially as it applies to the planetary energies is how aware I've become of how much control I don't have over situations and how vulnerable I feel at realizing this at times when I really want to have control over those situations. As someone who has bought into the illusion of control at times, its hard when that illusion is stripped away and you realize just how little control you really have. Then you must face yourself and truly see what you are and aren't. I felt that way last night when I realized how much I let my dearest one down.

6-17-13 Over the weekend Kat and I did a murder mystery party for her birthday. It was our best one yet, and perhaps what helped it was how much people were willing to step into their roles and get into the humor of the situation. I think that moving into a given role requires a suspension of disbelief but also an assumption of identity. I become the character and in that act of becoming I breathe life into the character, but the character, in turn also breathes life into me. I feel the character move me to become that character and also to take away something intangible yet powerful which speaks to the identity of the character and its impact on my own sense of self (at least for the time I am the character). I have similar experiences with a good book or a video game, where I'm drawn into the reality of the character and for a time become that character...and when I come out, I take something away, marked by the character as much as I've marked him/her. What's really marked me is the experience itself, the experience of being something else and allowing it to move me enough to have the experience.

On a different front, I got some advice about a situation today and what's interesting is how much movement fits into that advice, and how the movement shapes itself around the limitations of the situations and turns those limitations into something that can favor me as much as it seems to favor the institution. There's a lesson there...we are only as constrained as we perceive ourselves to be. How we use our limitations speaks just as much as the limitations in and of themselves.

6-20-13 The other night I had a dream, where this was tree growing from my upper left arm, where my birthmark is. The tree was abruptly cut or pulled or something, I was left with this bloody wound. I physically felt the pain of the removal of the tree from my arm to the point that I woke up and felt the pain on my arm. Eventually it faded, but when I meditated on the issue, I didn't get any answers. Then today I meditated, and the image of the tree on my arm came up again, but I ended up being directed to the area of my right kidney and as I began doing dissolving work, I felt these memories of the drive to Seattle and when I lived there come up, so I allowed myself to feel and be in those memories because I realized something needed to happen. What I felt was a recognition that 'd blocked those memories out because of what I associated with them, and so as I continued the dissolving work I left myself feel the emotions associated with those memories. I ended up crying for a bit, but I felt better afterwards. I'll continue doing the dissolving work to see what else comes up and if there's any relation to the tree.

6-21-13 In discussing the dream and dissolving meditation with Kat, she suggested that it might involve a feeling of being unrooted. So I did some further meditation and that seems to be the case, especially as it relates to the move to Seattle and the year I lived there. I felt like I did lose my roots and that I couldn't really find a place up there to settle in. And even though I later found Portland, it's really only been in the last few years that I've begun to feel rooted and to have a connection to community. Before that I felt very isolated and alone a lot of the time. I'm ready to process those emotions and I suppose my dream is a good indication of that.

6-24-13 I sometimes feel I can't escape my past and that I'm doomed to become the one person I don't want to be like. I know that feeling isn't true, but there are occasions where I feel weighed down by my past, weighed down by the example set for me by my father. There are times when all the dissolving work in the world can't undo the shame and disappointment I feel toward myself for failing the people I am closest to, as well as failing myself. I have to look carefully at what really moves me and why it moves me. Am I moving the way I really need to be moving? At the same time, I feel keenly aware of the cycles that Erik pointed out to me, cycles of influence that certainly seem to be showing up in my life in a variety of ways that are really causing me to come up against my own limits and helping me recognize those limits. It's simultaneously frustrating and enlightening, but with all of this I still have the choice to make of it whatever I can.

The Power of Limitation in Magic

limiration In the Process of Magic course I discuss the principle of limitation to some extent in a way that challenges the perceptions of limitation as an obstacle or something is containing you. In my experience limitation is actually a very useful magical tool that can lead to many breakthroughs in your life if you know how to use it. And the fact is that you can use any limitation you encounter, because as much as it may seem to limit you, the limitation also effects other people, and it can provide you with opportunities to think and act on novel methods for dealing with the limitation. I favor using limitation in a few different ways in magical work.

1. Use Limitation against itself. Limitations are usually imposed by authorities as a way of constraining what people can do, but those same limitations can also have a similar effect on the authorities that enforce them. So why not use the limitation to your favor? For example if you choose to go to trial for a ticket, try delaying the trial for as long as possible. Aside from the fact that such delays keep the ticket in a limbo it also can work in your favor against the memory of the person who gave you the ticket. Thus you use the limitations of the legal system against it as a way of gaining leverage. You use the limitation in your favor to achieve a more favorable result.

2. Recognize that limitation defines the situation. Limitations define the parameters of situation, at least on the surface. But actually if you examine limitations you'll find that what they really do is only define the obvious parameters. A limitation is very distinct in what it define as well as what it doesn't define and you can use what isn't defined to get a different perspective or discover a way to work around the limitation.

3. Focus on discovering possibilities. Similar to number 2, recognize that limitations actually provide possibilities for you to explore. While a limitation limits you it also provides possibilities that occur as a result of having the limitation. If you cultivate the right attitude you can discover a lot of positive possibilities that come from limitations. The Book The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz is an excellent example of how to use limitations to discover possibilities of empowerment. A good example that comes to my mind about this principle is from the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. In one episode the character is formless, able to change into anything, but unable to do anything. A horizontal line ( a limit) is provided and suddenly the character the can walk. The point is made that while the limitation limits the character's ability to be anything s/he wants, it also provides him possibilities. He can now walk, when he could not do anything before. In our own lives limitations perform a similar function, enabling us to do a lot as a result of the limitation, even as the limitation limits us in a specific way.

In magical work limitations are a useful part of your process because they help you understand what will or won't work but also challenge you to discover how to use those limitations in your favor. Additionally limitations provide you definitions for what you are doing and what you are effecting. Everything is limited but those limitations provide you empowerment because something can be changed. Without limitations no effective change could occur because we'd live in a constant entropic state. So I think limitations should be embraced as useful tools that when applied correctly can make life easier instead of harder.

Further Thoughts on Body Enhancement via magic


I read an interesting post by Chirotus Infinitum that was a response to my recent post about body enhancement via magic. He made reference to the Deathgate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, and much like him I have found that particular series of books to be foundational both in my body modification work and in other magical work I've done. In fact, it's fair to say that reading that series inspired at least some of my thoughts on how I might modify my body with magic as well as how to use those modifications to enhance my magical work.

Something I didn't mention in my previous post was how I've used my tattoos in my body enhancement work. While one of the purposes of my tattoos is devotional, used as an offering to the various elements I've worked with, another purpose is also to enhance my channeling of that elemental energy. The act of getting the tattoo allows me to fully embed the energy into my essence. Each tattoo represents a different energy (or energies) that I can access. For example the the hourglass - web tattoo is connected to the elemental energies of space and time, while my blue dragon is connected to the elemental energies of water. The current tattoo I'm getting, another dragon, is being used to connect with the elemental energies of fire and movement. I have plans to get more tattoos down the line, but undoubtedly some of that will also be influenced by what I work with and how I want to dedicate myself to that energy.

There's not a lot of work written about working with the body. My book Inner Alchemy discusses some of my work and I am continuing in some of those directions, but I think that the body is an untapped resource, especially in Western Culture. Eastern cultures emphasize a connection and cultivation of the body's resources that simply isn't found in Western culture because of the spiritual disconnect from the body that both Christianity and Western Science are responsible for. That spiritual disconnect has fostered perspectives about the body that are unhealthy and don't fully enable people to feel empowered to embrace or work with their bodies. Sadly Western occultism continues to foster similar perspectives. For example, Robert Anton Wilson refers to the body as a robot and seems intent on trying to escape it (not surprising given his encounter with Polio).

I was fortunate to avoid a lot of such limiting beliefs in regards to my body because I wasn't raised in overly religious household and had a natural curiosity about my body that I chose to explore so I could better understand it. I grew up sleeping naked in bed instead of having pajamas on (and I can't understand why anyone would want to wear pajamas) and I have always loved my body and appreciated its curves and the various sensations I can feel. I've also had my own experiences of body hate, such as when I was anorexic, but overall I was fortunate to embrace my body in a way that I observe many people don't. I honestly feel that one of the reasons people are so dysfunctional about sex comes right to the fact that Western culture overall has such a dysfunctional relationship with the body.

There is a lot to be explored in terms of enhancing the body with magic, but also in really understanding the body as a universe of its own, with hidden wonders to experience and explore if we are willing to set aside our all too limited perspectives and cultural biases about the body. This work can only occur if more people are willing to explore the body as a universe and allow themselves to be open to whatever experiences are encountered. Certainly I will keep writing about my own work because I realize more than ever how important it is to continue cultivating perspectives and experiences that run counter to the dysfunctional values that mainstream culture embodies.


Round 6 of the Process of Magic Class starts on July 3rd


Round 6 of the Process of Magic class starts on July 3rd. The class costs $100, but you get the following:

  • Access to an e-list that is specifically for this class, with feedback from other students (Value $5 a month).
  • 24 written lessons sent out each week on Wednesday which includes exercises to help you develop and refine your process of magic (Value $400).
  • Free Teleconferences every other month to discuss the material directly with me! (Value $45 per teleconference)
  • Free MP3 Recordings of previous conferences (Value $45 per recording)
  • A Free E-book copy of Creating Magical Entities (Value $20).
  • The value of this course is around $800, but you’ll get it for the low cost of $100.
  • To sign up for the class, contact me.

Whether you are just learning about magic or have been practicing for years the Process of Magic course focuses on what really matters: Learning how to use magic to proactively improve your life. This course will teach you a different perspective and approach to magic that will help you evaluate it and apply it to improve the quality of your life. Don’t take my word for it though. Below are several testimonials from one of my students:

By describing the process of magic(k) rituals, Taylor Ellwood taught me how to enhance my work. He taught me how to analyze and improve some rituals I had made, how to apply proved techniques to experimental rituals for internal magic and how pop culture can also be useful for creating pantheons more in relation to oneself. After this class my rituals have been really effective, and I started to think of magic as a means for transforming myself to get the best out of my environment. Highly recommendable class, I’m really happy I took it.
Testimonial from Ivan Marquez

I decided to take Taylor Ellwood’s Process of Magic class after many years of magical practice and study as a way to reboot my work. I’ve been involved with a few traditions but have generally been very eclectic in my approach. In my view eclecticism is a strength if you can find a way to synthesize all of those disparate takes on the magical path. Taylor has stripped away most of the window dressings associated with magic. Instead of focusing on style and aesthetics he focuses on the roots of practice and the processes underlying them. For those who are already involved in magic but are wondering how to weave together the rich variety of strands available to us in the 21st century, examining the processes that underly all magic, no matter the flavor, is an excellent place to start. For newcomers and beginners this course will help you quickly move beyond the 101 stage and help you start getting your hands dirty with practical magic.

Testimonial from Justin Patrick Moore

If you have questions or want to sign up for the class contact me.

Is there Sacrifice in Magic?

rumpelstiltskin Jack wrote an exasperated (but justified) response to the above meme, which has been circulating the magical and pagan blogs of late (evidently). The caption that is supposed to go with this picture is "All magic comes with a price, dearie!" Jack's point is that none of us are being asked to sacrifice our first born children to magic, to get what we want, which in the show is something that Rumple expects from the various people he helps. All we are ever asked to sacrifice is the time we spend learning magic, practicing it and discovering who we are in the process. To my mind that's not much of a sacrifice at all, but then I love studying and practicing magic.

But I think that Jack, and others miss perhaps a more subtle message that is implicit in that statement of magic coming at a price. It's a negative message, a negative belief about magic and what it costs. If you watch Once Upon a Time, magic is treated as this corrupting force, this power that can't really be controlled, which makes the people who practice it become complete asses to everyone. I don't buy it, don't really agree with it, but I see it as an example of mainstream culture using pop culture to comment on magic, to paint it in a very specific light (ironically in the process just making it more attractive). All magic comes with a price...and that price is the sacrifice of your child or something else you don't want to give, but that you'll willingly give for something you prize more. when magic is looked at that way it becomes both something tragic and malicious...pity the magician who has fallen sway to the forces of darkness, while recognizing all over again that magic is something a person shouldn't dabble in.

Given the source, Disney, we shouldn't really be surprised. Look at any of what's been produced and magic is always treated as some force a person can never control, something that will corrupt the person who uses it. But that belief isn't something Disney just cooked up. It's something that was cooked up by the Christians, there way of demonizing the spiritual practices of the religions that weren't Christian.

I don't think there's sacrifice in magic, unless you choose to make a sacrifice (and sometimes that can be appropriate). I think, if you're doing it right, the price is your time and effort, or whatever you agree upon. Certainly I haven't sold my soul to any capricious spirit for the dark delights of magic. Whatever agreements are made are ones that don't demand a pound of flesh or an ounce of soul. It all boils down to this: You decide what you want to give and do...but don't automatically assume there's price. There's only a price if you make it about a price.

The Role of Magic in Solving Problems

problems Jason made a recent post about problems and solutions and magic. I think that sometimes people buy into a myth that if you're a magician you can use magic to solve your problems and everything will be a-ok. Then they get upset when they discover that magic doesn't automatically solve problems and that sometimes it even enhances them. What isn't recognized is that magic doesn't solve problems for you. Only you can solve problems for you and while magic may be one means of solving a problem it's not always the best way to solve the problem or may be only part of the solution you employ.

I have found that if I look at the various problems in my life, there is one thing all of those problems in common: Me. So problem solving really needs to start from within, which means that a contemplative awareness of my choices and actions can help me recognize how I am contributing to a problem in my life. I may not be solely responsible for the problem, but I always have some responsibility for it and recognizing that responsibility can help me start the process of solving the problem.

If I employ magic into the mix, I do so because I feel that it will help me solve the problem by providing me access to resources I'm not otherwise getting or help me discover a solution from an unusual angle. However I also know that the responsibility of solving the problem is on me. Magic can provide possible solutions, but I have to follow through on those solutions. And I think that if more magicians recognized this then they might not even be so quick to draw on magic. What I've observed both of myself and other magicians is that a lot of magic use is reactive, done as a response to a problem to try and make it go away. And sometimes that occurs, but then the problem resurfaces in a different format, because what hasn't been resolved is the magician's place in that problem and until that is resolved the problem will continue to surface.

So I think first look to your own role and make appropriate changes, then look to magic and other means of solving the problem and employ whatever measures are necessary. And then solve it and move on. Don't let the problem define you...define it, and let it go. One example of how I solved a problem via magic was dealing with an inability to let go of anger and hurt that I felt toward certain people from my past.  I realized one day that those people didn't care and that the only getting effected by this problem was me. I took responsibility, then I developed a banishing ritual where I evoked my feelings about those people and then did a ritual to banish them and let them go. Now I don't think of those people, I'm happier, and magic has helped me solve that problem in a way that wasn't so much reactive as it was done with conscious awareness of how I could free myself from what I'd been feeling.

Book Review: The Miracle Tree by R. J. Stewart

This is a solid book on quabala that provides useful exercises to help you explore quabala from a Western esoteric tradition. I like how the author marries quabala to planetary magic and shows how the reader can use the system to do both meaningful internal work as well as connect to cosmic and underworld energies. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the topic, but don't just read the book. Do the exercises and you will get a lot from the content as it applies to your magical work and life.


Magical Enhancements of your body

Enhancement The other day I read an interesting post by Mr. Black on human enhancement. I've always been fascinated by how a person can enhance his/her body using magic since I first started practicing magic. In my book Inner Alchemy, I described some of my work toward that purpose, but there's a lot I also haven't shared, so below is some of the other enhancement work I've done with my body and thoughts on how you can apply this to your own work.

1. Enhance your muscles. When I was in college, one of the jobs I worked at was a package factory (similar to UPS). You'd work for four hours packing boxes (50 - 100 Ibs) onto trucks. It's hard work and you get sore quickly. It's a job that has high turn over as well, with up to 50% quitting in the first 2 weeks. When I worked there, one of my solutions was to temporarily enhance my muscles, both in terms of strength and healing. What I did before the shift was to run my hands over my legs and arms, putting energy into the muscles so that I could warm them up ahead of time, as well as help them heal. This allowed me to condition my muscles during the first couple of weeks so that I wasn't as sore as I would've been otherwise. Additionally, the work was easier because I'd enhanced my strength during that time. To this day I still use this working when I need to do physical labor. All you need to do is your own energy to your muscles. Basically you are using your chi to enhance your muscles.

2. Enhance healing by communicating with cells. When I get tattoos, I tend to heal fairly quick because what I do is communicate with my cells and direct energy toward the metabolism functions in order to improve the speed of healing. I've also used this for other injuries. While it doesn't provide instantaneous healing, I have noticed that healing occurs quicker than it normally would. With tattoos the healing time usually takes 3 weeks to a month, but I've been able to heal in a week. To do this kind of work you need to learn how to communicate with your cells, which I've covered in Inner Alchemy.

3. Eye sight enhancement. I have 20/20 vision. Neither of my parents or their parents had 20/20 vision, but I've always had it. One of the activities I do on a regular basis are eye exercises, which include bringing my sight into and out of focus as well as rolling my eyes and looking up or down or to the side for more than a second. Doing these exercises help to enhance my sight, but I've also done some inner alchemical work with the rods and cones as well as the natural chemicals in my eyes, focusing on cell regeneration, so that I can keep my eyesight at its current performance. Thus far it seems to have worked, but time will tell if what I'm doing is working.

These are just a few examples of how I've experimented with enhancement of the human body. I am continuing my exploration of the body, because I feel that learning how to work with the body is an integral key to enhancing and even prolonging life.



Filtered Reality and the Importance of magical work

reality tunnel Lately I've noticed several acquaintances going on a media diet. They recognize that they are putting too much time into media and saturating themselves with a lot of needless information. I've gone on my own media diets in the past, and still continue to, to this day. For example I don't have Cable, and I don't ever plan on having it. I don't want to watch all the commercials just to see a show, especially when I can watch the same show on netflix without all of the commercials. But my media diet has also extended to the news for the most part. I don't get a newspaper and I don't listen to the radio for news. I do read yahoo news, but I realize I need to cut down on that. Recently I was asked the following question:

Do you think that as the world gets more crowded and people become more busy with work, entertainment, technology etc. that finding this space/time becomes more difficult than say 100 years ago? And if so does that make magical practice all the more important?

The person asked the question in relationship to a status update I made about the importance of making sacred space and time for your magical work. And my answer is that I think all the different forms of entertainment can create a filtered reality, where what is filtered out is a person's awareness of self and the need to make sacred time and space. As much as I am a proponent of pop culture magic and using media for magical purposes, I also recognize that the saturation of media provides so much information, so much other things to focus on that it can be really hard to be present with anything that isn't media related. I certainly see this to some extent with people around me. Everyone is obsessed with having the latest smart phone, tablet, ipad, etc, and most of the time their eyes are on the screen fixated on whatever they are working on or playing (the irony is that right now my eyes are fixated on this screen as I write this). People are so caught up in observing what's going on around them that they are forgetting how to act, how to be present right here and right now.

I think magical practice is more important than ever because it teaches us to act, to rip out the filters and actually explore reality instead of just observe it. Magic is about creating space and time, about engaging reality and what you want to change about reality. The magician knows that a filtered reality is just a reality that has been fed to us as a way of directing what we think and see. All the technology we have doesn't intrinsically improve our lives so much as it filters our lives, distracts us, and otherwise just causes us to ignore our own reality. While I can and do appreciate being able to check email on a phone or write a book on a tablet, I nonetheless also recognize that all the media devices provide a lot of distractions and a way for people to disengage. Magic is about engagement, about being in a specific space and time and using that space and time to interact with reality.

All of the media we have does present us with a lot of information and used just right that information can be helpful for magical work. I enjoy employing pop culture magic when its appropriate, but even then it's about getting rid of the filters and engaging reality directly. And that's really the point of magic. It brings us to the here and now, shows us what could be and allows us to mediate reality instead of just observing it go by. So get off the phone and the ipad and video games and create some sacred space and time for you. Be here now.

Why Evocation isn't the One True Way to do magic

spirit guides I love it when people make arguments that a particular technique is the one true way that magic works. Or make the argument that the only way something works is through the intercession of spirits. Let me be clear, I do evocations, invocations, and work with spirits, but not all the magic I do involves spirits and I don't always get instructions on what to do or how to do it from spirits. I feel that evocation is much like any other technique of magic. There's a time and place for it and knowing when to use the technique is as much a part of what makes it effective as anything else.

Jason Miller shares his own perspective by arguing that we are spirits too. Much like him, I've never just practiced a Western Esoteric approach to magic. And Eastern practices emphasize the cultivation of one's own spiritual resources and power. But even without that influence, I'd argue that Western magic doesn't entirely support a spirits only approach to magic. A read through William G Gray's Magical Ritual Methods or Franz Bardon's Initiation into Hermetics shows a similar cultivation of one's own spiritual resources, both in relationship to connecting with spirits and in relationship to doing spiritual work that doesn't involve spirits.

I respect the spirits I work with and I'll acknowledge how they have impacted my life at any time. But I also have to acknowledge that I have done a lot of the work and that the work hasn't always involved the intercession of spirits. When its necessary I do work with spirits and magical entities to help me accomplish certain tasks or approach a situation from a perspective that isn't my own. But sometimes its also necessary to do magic drawing on your own experiences and resources. The wise magician recognizes that spirits, inner contacts, entities, etc, are allies who nonetheless expect you to do a lot of the work on your own. S/he also knows that its important to cultivate his/her own power and experiences and apply those to magic without always looking to allies to fix situations.

And to be honest, not all my evocations have involved spirits. Sometimes I've evoked people into my life, or evoked situations. Indeed, I think that evocation as a technique is quite useful, but much like any other technique it can be experimented with and improved upon if a person is willing to test it and see just what s/he can do with it.

There is no one true way to do magic, no one true technique that trumps everything else. And while spirits are powerful and should be respected, so are we. We are spirits manifest as flesh and we have something the spirits don't have. The ability to interact with the world in a much more direct way than the spirits can. In truth, the spirit human relationship is a symbiotic relationship, with both sides relying on each other. When we recognize this, we recognize as well as that what makes magic effective is as much the person as the spirit.

Why Immanion Press is so Important to me

Immanion Press I don't write much about the work I do with Immanion Press on this blog. Indeed, as far as many of you know, I'm just one of its authors. But the truth is I'm not just an author of Immanion Press. I'm also the Managing Non-Fiction editor of Immanion Press. (Cue in the jokes about being a Hair club for men member). For me, Immanion Press is one of the vehicles by which I express my passion for writing and publishing and magic in the world.

My service to Immanion Press is one of the ways I give back to the magical community and is also an offering to the magic itself. I am not paid a salary at Immanion Press. I get a small royalty for books I edit, but I don't get paid for the layout I do, or a lot of the other work I do and I am fine with that. My service to Immanion is a dedication of love to occult writing, occult authors, and to the magic itself. It is done because I want to publish books that I know will likely not see the light of day because other publishers are afraid to touch the books. It is done because I want to empower authors who have had bad experiences with other publishers, and show them that someone has their back. Indeed as I write this I reflect on an email a prospective author sent me on Thursday, telling me how validated she feels to have a publisher interested in her work who will respect her voice, who will edit the book, but not to commoditize it for the mass market. I like hearing that because to me a publisher has two clients: The Authors and the Readers. Too often, imo, most publishers focus on the latter and forget or neglect the former.

Way back in 2003, I had written Pop Culture Magick. I shopped the book to Weiser, New Falcon, and a couple other publishers. In some cases I didn't hear back from the publishers and in other cases, I got a rejection letter. I was told that my book was too niche and controversial. I was told that I shouldn't try to publish it because it wouldn't sell. So during a trip to England, I talked with Storm Constantine, owner of Immanion Press, and to this day a good friend of mine. I showed her my book and even though Immanion Press had originally been intended for Science Fiction and Fantasy books, she saw the potential in my book and agreed to publish it. In 2004, Pop Culture Magick was published and thus we started the non-fiction line of Immanion Press. It strikes me as ironic that NOW bigger publishers want to publish books on pop culture magic. I guess it's no longer so controversial, but in 2003, a decade ago, no one would touch my book. I doubt I'll ever really get the recognition I think is deserved for paving the way, but I know I paved the way. Not just with my books either, but with other books by other authors as well. Of course, I didn't do it alone.

I had help over the years from the authors, from Storm, from Kat, and from other people and I am thankful to all of them to this day, because the nonfiction line for Immanion Press couldn't be what it is without the authors, editors, and volunteers who've offered time, blood, and sweat to make things happen. Immanion Press has always been a team effort, and so really it's that all of us paved the way to one extent or another.

A couple of months after Pop Culture Magic was published, Nick Farrell emailed me and asked if Immanion Press would consider publishing his book Gathering the Magic. It's a book about magical group dynamics and big surprise, none of the bigger publishers wanted to publish it. So I asked Storm about it, and Immanion Press took it on. I was still just an author then, but as more authors found out about us, and discovered that we wanted to publish intermediate to advanced books on magic that were for niche markets and that no book was too controversial for us, Storm asked me if I would be willing to be the managing non-fiction editor. She respected my expertise as an occultist, and the way that I knew the market. I said yes and I began what has been and continues to be one of the most important callings of my life: I publish the books other publishers won't touch because I know there is a market and that those publishers are wrong. They don't get can they, when what they are focused on is really the bottom line? And I get why they are...and they have a place, and the books they publish have a place, but even so, on a certain level they just don't get it, and they never will. They aren't publishing for the same reason and what they publish is for a larger market. They aren't going to publish the controversial books, the risky books because they don't want to alienate that larger market. But the truth is that anything that is published is bound to offend someone. It's not always about hitting the largest market possible. It's about reaching the right market...the right people and meeting their needs even if it isn't an automatic hit. It's about knowing the market, knowing the people, knowing what they want...and knowing that giving it to them does involve some risk, because you can't please everyone...and maybe you shouldn't.

Working at Immanion Press hasn't always been easy. At one point I came very close to leaving, burned out, and fed up with how taken for granted I felt by everyone involved. And being a strong personality, I know I am not always easy to work with and that I've made a few mistakes along the way. But overall, I love the work I do at Immanion Press and over time the process has gotten easier. What people forget sometimes is that Immanion Press is a small press. We don't have a paid staff of editors, publicists, marketers, etc. We run on a tight budget and the people who work for us get paid in royalties. And yet they do it anyway, which I am so thankful for...because they believe in the vision of Immanion Press. They believe that what we are doing is important enough to support it. And despite not having what traditional publishers have, we make it work and we find ways to help our authors out. It's not a perfect system, far from it, and sometimes it doesn't work out as well as it could. But we make it work anyway.

And I am proud of our authors and books. I am proud that I've played a role, however small it is, in helping authors launch their writing career and when I see that one of my authors got a book published by another publisher I feel good about it, because I know that getting published by us helped with that. We publish the controversial books, and we also bring books back into print and what we have available is awesome. We've published books on the subjects that the other publishers won't touch and we've played a role in getting conversations to happen. We've also told the authors that we want them to write in their voices and that we won't sanitize those voices. At the same time, we've insisted on academic standards of in-text citation and quotations, which readers tell me they love because they see it so rarely in the majority of books published on magic and paganism.

At this last Pantheacon, two of my authors, Tony Mierzwicki and Crystal Blanton, told me in their respective ways how much they liked working with Immanion Press. Tony told me how he'd shopped his book Graeco-Egyptian Magic everywhere and was about to self-publish it when he remembered meeting me and decided to see if we'd publish his book. We said yes and he told me how getting his book published opened doors for him. He told me how much he appreciated a free marketing seminar I gave to the authors (and inspired me to start it up again for my authors). And I know that even if he never publishes another book with us, we played a role in his life and in his writing that he'll always remember. And that touched me so profoundly and I was so grateful for his appreciation and recognition of Immanion Press and my role in all of it.

And at one point I was talking with Crystal and she abruptly stopped me and said, with much emotion, "Thank you" several times. And later she told me how much she appreciated my vision for Immanion and she said that she didn't think I knew what an impact I had on her community because of how I'd supported her as an author and as an editor of The Shades of Faith Anthology we published. And she's right I didn't know it, but that weekend gave me a glimpse...and later she acknowledged at a panel my role in the anthology and how I'd recognized I wasn't the right person to edit that anthology, and that I knew I needed to find someone who could do it justice. I was so touched by what she said, so honored that she felt I had contributed to her vision and work.

And I've had other authors on occasions tell me similar things and I have always felt touched. To me that is the biggest payoff. I have helped authors reach their audience. I have respected their voices, their culture, their audience...I have done my job as a publisher and an editor and as a magician...I have believed in them and provided a platform to help them reach others who can believe in them as well.

And I've continued to write my books and place them with Immanion. I'll admit I do find it frustrating when I go to Powells books and don't see my books on the shelves or the Barnes and Nobles because we use print on demand and because we don't take returns. Yet that frustration pales to the joy I feel writing my books my way...knowing my voice will be respected, knowing that the cover of the book will be the cover I pick. And I know I'm reaching my audience. I'm reaching the people who need my work and that is what is really important.

I'm writing a book on Wealth Magic and I flirted with the idea of letting another publisher publish one of my books. I even sent a proposal in and then...I went to a panel held by the publisher and in that panel I heard everything that was an antithesis of my approach to publishing. They wanted trendy, marketable ideas. They wanted books that had cute titles and approached magic in a hip marketable manner that would hit the largest market possible. I left feeling sick to my stomach and I knew that none of my occult books will likely ever be published by a larger publisher. I simply can't imagine emasculating my vision and my words in that way just to make a buck. And I don't feel they will really get my vision or my approach or understand that I know the market better than they may know it. I know I'll write non-occult books (I'm starting one as soon as I finish the wealth magic book) and those books will go to more mainstream publishers, but my spiritual work, the work that touches the heart of the universe and speaks the language of magic...that work needs to be the way it is...not written for a general audience...not written to make a buck, but written to speak to the people who need it...written in my voice, written the way I want it to be written. And yes it means my books will always be with a small publisher. It means that I won't get some of the advantages that some of my other occult authors have. And I can live with that...because even though its a harder road to walk and there is more work on my end as an author, I've already been doing it for ten years, and I like how I feel about myself as a writer and as a magician. I don't say that to pass judgments on other authors. I recognize that many of the other occult authors have had awesome relationships with the publishers they've worked with. I just feel that for me I know where the home of my occult books are...and hopefully always will be. And that's Immanion Press. My publisher and one of my loves. I love Immanion Press. I love what we stand for and I love that I serve the magic with the work I do for the press. That is more important than anything else. I serve the magic.

Constant Change as a factor of magic

  TaoOne of the books I'm reading, Hide a Dagger Behind a Smile, explores how Chinese War strategies can be applied to business practices. The author even includes case studies that show how contemporary businesses have applied these practices to deal with competition and customers. It's an intriguing read, and one that got me to think about the element of change and magic, when the author noted that how Western and Eastern cultures approach change is different.

The author argues that Western culture takes a linear approach to change and considers it to be something that occurs between periods of rest. In other words, change occurs as a specific result/reaction and when change isn't needed, everything comes to rest. This is a very linear model and approach to change. Eastern culture, the author argues, takes a non-linear cyclical approach to change, with the recognition that change is always occurring and the idea being that the business ideally has plans in place not merely for the immediate future, but also down the line, with a proactive projection of trends.

Whether the author's claims are true or not (I'm inclined to agree with his assessment of how Eastern and Western cultures approach change) what I found important is that an effective approach to change recognizes that change is always occurring. In the Process of Magic course I actually include change as an element of the process and argue that we need to recognize change as a factor in its own right...not merely the change we want to make happen, but also changes that are occurring outside of our control and as a consequence of doing magic.

Change does occur all the time and the change can include things we for granted. Digestion of food is a change that we might not consider (unless we have an upset stomach or are on a diet). Change only becomes relevant when it effects us, unless we actually choose to proactively make change relevant. I prefer to make change relevant in my businesses and my life, because its something that is there. We change from moment to moment, even if most of the changes are subtle.

When I think about magic and change, what stands out to me is that Western Practical Magic does seem to mostly be done as a reaction to change. A problem crops up in your life and magic is done to manage or solve the problem. A change is caused to manage or solve the change that has occurred. Certainly when I look at my past work, before exposure to internal work, I see practical magic used to handle a problem and get back to a particular desired state of existence. I also recognize with hindsight that such an approach has limited effectiveness because it doesn't factor change in adequately enough to be truly effective.

However the integration of Eastern Meditation practices and magical work has "changed" my approach to magical work, and to change in general. I have slowly but surely become more proactive in how I approach change, and how I plan my life and business. Instead of trying to back to a desired state of status quo, I embrace change as a constant and accept that planning for it is essential in order to leverage practical magic as a meaningful asset for creating the kind of change I want to bring into my life and the world in general.

Looking for change and actively incorporating it into magic, while accepting that there will always be change that I'm not aware of or can't control, has been useful in developing a proactive to handle the latter forms of change (which at least can be anticipated), while also making the former forms of change into a useful tool that aids the magical work I do. Change is a reality of of the few constants that will always be there. I think that factoring it into the magical work you do, and proactively accounting for it is important in order for magic, as a discipline, to evolve.


Sex and Creativity

khajuarho I've been meditating a lot the past week on sex and creativity and how both are outlets of a person's life energy, as well as being pathways for magical work. I've found that these two expressions go hand in hand. When they are balanced they feed and inspire each other, but if there is too much of one the other can be dissipated...and if there is not enough of one, then it becomes an overriding obsession. These two expressions of life aren't the only expressions, but I think of them as primal expressions for myself. I've used both sex and creativity to define my life at different times and I've found that I need both in order to truly be happy, but I also know that a lack in either one makes me miserable, and that too much usually leads to a burn out of some kind.

In meditating on these two expressions of my life, I've also looked at my history around them. I had several realizations. My period of a few years where I wasn't writing was also a period where I had very little in the way of sexual satisfaction. Once I started to have sex in my life again, I became creative again as well. Sex got the juices going, literally and figuratively. But the other realization was that my creativity suffered when I spread my self too thin.

You get interested in multiple people and when you do you spread your energies thinner and thinner, with less focus on the creativity. It's not an ideal situation if you are a writer or artist. You need to save some of that energy for the art and writing. Sex, and for that matter love, can take up a lot of energy if not properly managed and focused.

Being with Kat has been good for me because in the process of developing this relationship I've come to really understand how much I gave away of myself in the past, and how much I caused my own periods of non-creativity. There were other factors than just sex or love, but nonetheless I feel more creative because I'm not giving away too much of my energy to other pursuits. The time I do invest into a relationship is returned to me with much more focus on the creative work. I think this is why the writing has come back so much. I'm focusing one expression of my life and in turn another is also being focused. I'm focusing on one relationship in my life and in turn that relationship is helping me define my spirituality and creativity and become more productive. As such I moved away from Polyamory to a Monogamous relationship. I don't think polyamory is bad or wrong (It can and does work for some people)...I just realize it hasn't worked for me and that if anything it has enabled my various issues in ways that have been hurtful to myself and others.

I think a given person only has so much time, and what you do with that time and who you spend it with is important. How much of yourself can you give away and still have something left for what's important to you? As I get older I realize that I want to conserve my life energy and keep it focused on what I feel called to bring to the world. Sex is an inspiration for my creativity, a fuel that feeds my imagination, but I don't want exhaust it. Thus I'm finding the Taoist work very helpful as well for keeping that part of my life focused to generate creativity.

In other news, I was on the Green Egg Radio Show. You can listen to the interview here. I recommend fast forwarding past the first 5 or so minutes, because the hosts were reading an introduction of who I am during that time.


Feng Shui and Movement

Feng shuiAt the last magical experiments potluck, one of my friends presented on Feng Shui. She'd just gotten her certification in Feng Shui and she shared what she learned with us. I found it fascinating and I'm going to pick up some books and possibly even take a course or two as I think it could be applicable to my spiritual work, especially with movement. I've always noticed that when I clean my home or we move furniture around that the energy also gets moved. The personality of the home changes, and even the way the energy moves through the house also changes. In fact, one of the suggestions my friend made was that I should change the position of my desk in my office. Originally it was set up so that my desk was facing the window and my back was turned to the door. According to Feng Shui this actually hurts the flow of energy toward your business because you are essentially indicating that you don't want more business. It makes sense in a way and I figured it didn't hurt to move the desk. So I moved it so that now it faces my closet, while still giving me a view of the window and the door. I don't yet how it'll affect my business, but I have noticed a change in the energy of the room and I actually like the current set up better.

When I look at movement as an elemental force one of the things I consider is how I move through an environment. Movement is as much about what you can't move through or around as it is about the actual movement that occurs. I've changed my desk so I sit differently, have a different view and there's a bit more space in the room. I swivel my chair around to reach for things on a shelf and everything is in easier reach than it was previously. If nothing else has changed, how I relate to the room and the various tasks I do in the room has changed. While there's nothing overtly magical about that, it is fascinating because it makes me think about how set up and design influence movement, both the physical and spiritual movement that a person does in a given space.

If you've read Magical Identity, you know that a lot of my interest in magic has shifted toward exploring magic as an ontological activity. My interest in movement is part of the next step of that exploration as I see it as an essential part of an ontology of magic.

Is magic inherently moral?


The other day I got into a conversation about magic and morality. I mentioned that one of the systems of magic I'd learned was chaos magic and the person mentioned that s/he had heard that chaos magic didn't have a system of morals attached to it, which is accurate, but as I pointed out to her, it's how a person chooses to use magic that matters. I don't think there's a given moral force that polices magic, nor do I think a person gets 3 times the outcome of what s/he chooses to do.

Magic isn't an inherently moral force. It is something that anyone can work with, and there are limitations to what a person can do with it, but those limitations have more to do with the laws of this universe than any moral polarity. Any such moral polarity is human made, derived more as a statement of the values of the person as well as his/her culture. Each person must decide what his/her own morals are, both in terms of magical work, and mundane actions.

When we ascribe morality to a system or practice, we need to do it carefully and question the underlying values. Even if it seems like a "good" morality, there is always human agency behind the assumption of that morality and its application to other people's actions. When we recognize this we can look carefully at whether or not we should take on the morals of a given spirituality and/or determine if we should apply our own instead.

Naturally there are consequences for what a person chooses to do. Each person has to decide if the consequences are worth the desired result, but just as importantly we need to decide if the moral codes we ascribe to are ones we really agree with or ones we hold to reflexively because others have told us to. The latter choice is a disservice to ourselves, and ironically an amoral choice, for we are ducking out of our responsibility to determine for ourselves what our morality really should be, as well as how it should inform our actions.

Questions of the Week Answers 1-2-12

questionEach week, on Facebook and Google plus I will ask people if they have questions and if they do I will post answers on my blog during the following week. I was asked two questions this week. The first one is: Are there any effects from yoga practice upon the magic development? I think with any form of physical exercise or activity there is the potential for it to apply to magical development. In the case of Yoga, it can certainly help you improve breathing, body posture, etc., as well as help you learn how to meditate using different poses. In fact, I'd say one of the chief benefits of Yoga is that it gets you out of your head and into experience of the moment. It can be hard to think of lots of other things, when you need to focus your attention on holding a pose. A deeper exploration of Yoga can also reveal spiritual benefits in terms of allowing you to access internal energy reserves as well as build up those energy reserves. I think the same applies for Eastern Martial arts, but also any form of exercise you do consistently. Exercising requires you to focus on your body, and it can consequently reveal internal reserves, as well as places of tension and stress.

The Second question was: What do you think on psychedelic drugs in use of magic? Do they help for growing up"?
I think of psychedelic drugs or entheogens as crutch, as opposed to being useful for magical or spiritual development. I think there are exceptions, so for example the use Ayahuasuca in South America for Shamanic rituals could be seen as a genuine practice that contributes to the development of a person's spiritual power, but in that case, that kind of spiritual work has been done for a long time under very specific conditions and with specific practices. From what I've observed in general about the use of entheogens, its an exception, rather than a rule that entheogens will help with the use of magic or growing up. In my opinion, its better to learn how to meditate and do all the other work without relying entheogens to get you there. If you are going to use entheogens, bear in mind that you aren't really in control of the experience, and that makes it harder to do magic.

Round 1 of the Space/Time Magic Weekend intensive starts in March!

stmOn March 30th, my first Weekend intensive for Space/Time Magic will start at 10am, and will end on March 31st at 4pm. In the time between, participants who take this class will learn about Space/Time magic, specifically the system of magic and tradition I've created around this topic. This class will include material I've never published, as well as teaching participants how to customize concepts from my books Space/Time Magic and Magical Identity. I'm offering an early bird special for this class. If you sign up by March 10th, you will only pay 180 to take this class. If you sign up after the 10th, you'll pay 220 for the class. This is an in-person class, based in Portland, OR, which means we will meet in person for the training. When you take the class you will get the following:

  • A detailed exploration of the elements of space and time and how they apply to magic.
  • Introduction to the dual-deck system of Tarot reading and how it can be used for space/time enchantments.
  • How to apply retroactive magic to create the right circumstances of space and time.
  • Space/Time Magic techniques that you can use to achieve practical results.
  • How to use retroactive magic to make changes in your behavior.
  • Space/Time Meditation practices that you can use to connect with alternate versions of yourself as well as your past and future selves.
  • Connection with Space/Time Inner Contacts who will guide you in your continued work with the Space/Time Magic System.
  • Unpublished material that is specific for the class.

Want to know more about the class or how to sign up? Contact me.